Seeds

This week I’m sharing more quotes from my journals.  These come from scriptures, books, even Facebook posts from friends.  I don’t write something down every day but some days I come across many to record.  My journals are full of great truths I don’t want to forget or neglect.  Here are some of the recent quotes:

This is the blessedness of waiting upon God:  it takes our eyes and thoughts away from ourselves, even our needs and desires, and occupies us with our God.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 39-40

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.  –Unknown

If you are then “risen” with Christ, reach out for the highest gifts of Heaven, where Christ reigns in power.  Give your heart to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth.  For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in God, through Christ.  One day Christ, the secret centre of our lies, will show himself openly, and you will all share in that magnificent dénouement.  –Colossians 3:1-4 (PHI)

The eye of the LORD is on them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.  Fear and hope are generally thought to be in conflict with each other.  In the presence and worship of God, they are found side by side in perfect and absolute harmony.  And this because in God Himself all apparent contradictions are reconciled.  Righteousness and peace, judgment and mercy, holiness and love, infinite power and infinite gentleness, a majesty that is exalted above all heaven and a condescension that bows very low, meet and kiss each other.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 40

Heart

Here is the “heart” of Andrew Murray’s thoughts that spoke so clearly to me last week in his book, Waiting On God.  This is really special; don’t miss what He has to say here:

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all ye that wait for the Lord. –Psalm 31:24 (RV)

“Let your heart take courage.”  All our waiting depends on the state of the heart.  As a man’s heart is, so is he before God.  We can advance no further or deeper into the holy place of God’s presence to wait on Him there, than our heart is prepared for it by the Holy Spirit.  –pg. 35

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  (Prov. 3:5)  In all faith, we have to use these two powers.  The mind has to gather knowledge from God’s Word and prepare the food by which the heart with the inner life is to be nourished.  But here is the terrible danger of our leaning to our own understanding and trusting in our own comprehension of divine things.  People imagine that if they are occupied with the truth, the spiritual life will, as a matter of course, be strengthened.  And this is by no means the case.  The understanding deals with concepts and images of divine things, but it cannot reach the real life of the soul.  Hence the command:  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding.”  Man believes with the heart and comes into touch with God.  God has given His Spirit in the heart to be the presence and the power of God working in us.  In all our faith, the heart must trust and love and worship and obey.  My mind is utterly unable to create or maintain the spiritual life within me.  The heart must wait on God for Him to work it in me.  –pg. 36-37

Murray likens this to physical nourishment:

My reason may tell me what to eat and drink, and how the food nourishes me.  But in the eating and feeding, my reasons can do nothing–the body has its organs for that special purpose.  Just so, reason may tell me what God’s Word says, but it can do nothing to the feeding of the soul on the bread of life–this the heart alone can do by its faith and trust in God. –pg. 37

Then he compares this spiritual process to physical sleep:

A man may be studying the nature and effects of food or sleep.  When he wants to eat or sleep, he sets aside his thoughts and study, and uses the power of eating or sleeping.  And so, the Christian always needs, when he has studied or heard God’s Word, to cease from his thoughts, to put no trust in them [his own thoughts], to awaken his heart to open itself before God, and seek the living fellowship with Him.  –pg. 37

Let the heart wait at times in perfect silence and quiet; in its hidden depths.  God will work.  Be sure of this, and just wait on Him.  Give your whole heart, with its secret workings, into God’s hands continually.  He wants the heart.  He takes it and, as God, dwells in it.  –pg. 38

I love these thoughts:  Let Your Heart take courage!  Sometimes we’re unwilling to rest or trust.  Sometimes we’d rather worry and fret about something.  Or we’d like to try something in our own strength. And yet, here in His Word, He encourages us:  “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all ye that wait for the LORD.”

Strength and Courage

Here are more quotes from Andrew Murray’s book, Waiting On God.

Wait on the LORD:  be strong, and let thine heart take courage; yea, wait thou on the LORD.  –Psalm 27:14 (RV)

One of the chief needs in our waiting upon God, one of the deepest secrets of its blessedness and blessing, is a quiet, confident persuasion that it is not in vain.  –pg. 31

“Be strong, and of good courage.”  These words are frequently found in connection with some great and difficult enterprise, in prospect of the combat with the power of strong enemies, and the utter insufficiency of all human strength.  Is waiting on God a work so difficult that such words are needed:  “Be strong, and let your heart take courage?”  Yes, indeed.  The deliverance for which we often have to wait is from enemies, in whose presence we are so weak.  The blessings for which we plead are spiritual and unseen–things impossible with men–heavenly, supernatural, divine realities.  Our heart may well faint and fail.  –pg. 32

You are going to wait on God, to know first what He is, and then after that, what He will do…Come, and however feeble you feel, just wait in His presence.  As a feeble, sickly invalid is brought out into the sunshine to let its warmth go through him, come with all that is dark and cold in you into the sunshine of God’s holy omnipotent love.  Sit and wait there, with the one thought:  Here I am, in the sunshine of His love.  As the sun does its work in the weak, one who seeks its rays, God will do His work in you.  Oh, do trust Him fully!  –pg. 33-34

It takes strength and  courage to wait for an answer from God, and He gives it to you (both strength and courage) as you determine to wait.  I can’t tell how often I have needed an answer to a problem or situation, and have gone somewhere to sit before Him and await His answer.  When I open His Word, or even the newspaper or some book in the morning, there is my answer — specific, personal, final.  It’s truly amazing how clearly He speaks to those who will sit quietly before Him and wait.

And yes–sometimes the wait is longer, but it will come, always, if you wait.

Wait

Lately I’ve been reading a great devotional from Andrew Murray (1828-1917).  This week I’m sharing quotes from that book.  The topic (as can be seen by the title) is waiting on God.  These words are so meaningful and true:

Show me thy ways, O LORD: teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:  for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.  Psalm 25:4-5 (KJV)

A soul cannot seek close fellowship with God, or attain the abiding consciousness of waiting on Him all the day, without a very honest and entire surrender to all His will.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, Whitaker House Publishers, pg. 28

It must be clear to us what we are waiting for.  There may be very different things.  It may be waiting for God in our times of prayer to take His place as God and to work in us the sense of His holy presence and nearness.  It may be a special petition to which we are expecting an answer.  It may be our whole inner life, in which we are on the lookout for God’s putting forth of His power.  It may be the whole state of His church and saints, or some part of His work, for which our eyes are ever toward Him.  It is good that we remember and keep track of the things we are waiting for on God.  — pg. 29

It must also be clear to us on whom we are waiting.  Not an idol, a god of whom we have made an image by our concepts of what he is.  No, but the living God, such as He really is in His great glory, His infinite holiness, His power, wisdom, and goodness, in His love and nearness.  The presence of a beloved or a dreaded master awakens the whole attention of the servant who waits on him.  The presence of God, as He can in Christ by His Holy Spirit make Himself known, and keep the soul under its covering and shadow, will awaken and strengthen the true waiting spirit.  Let us be still and wait and worship until we know how near He is…   — pg. 29

It doesn’t seem to me that many people are willing to wait for anything any more, even regarding spiritual matters.  We seem to have much strength in our own wills, plans and ways.  But God tells us to wait on Him; wait and see what He will do!  There are things only He can do, and they are certainly worth waiting for.

Worship

This week I’m sharing quotes from my Word of the Year–“Worship.”  We don’t worship God because He needs it or requires it, but because He deserves it.  I can say for a fact that He is real; I’ve felt immediate healing at least twice in my life; He speaks to me daily not only through His Word but through many other sources, such as a book, a friend or an unexpected message of some type.  In other words, I’ve experienced Him; He’s real and trustworthy.  He’s worthy of our worship:

It is the heart that must trust and love and worship and obey…The Christian needs ever, when he has studied or heard God’s word, to cease from his thoughts, to put no trust in them, and to waken up his heart to open itself before God, and seek the living fellowship with Him.  –Andrew Murray, How Great Is Our God, 3/7

Worship is essentially a way of honoring God.  It means recognizing His honor and feeling the worth of it and ascribing it to Him in all the ways appropriate to His character.  Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth.  The reason for saying gladly is that even the mountains and trees reflect back to God the radiance of His worth:  “Praise the LORD from the earth…mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars.”  (Psalm 148:7,9 ESV).  Yet this reflection of God’s glory in nature is not conscious.  The mountains and hills do not willingly worship.  In all the earth, only humans have this unique capacity.  –John Piper, How Great is Our God, 4/23

When God spoke out of heaven to our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes:  they said “It thundered”  (John 12:29).  The believing man does not claim to understand.  He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.”  The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship.  He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things.  –A. W. Tozer, How Great is Our God, 7/7

Meet Lydia.  She was a city girl, a salesperson.  A homeowner with enough room to house a host of people.  Yet her professional life was balanced by the priorities of her spiritual life.  She worshiped God.  — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 358

Perfect Work

Following the scripture below is a great quote from the South African writer, Andrew Murray [1828-1917].  It contains great wisdom for today.

We call Abraham “Father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody.  Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture:  God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples?”  Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do:  raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.  — Romans 4:17 [MSG]

As we cease from self and our soul becomes still, to God, God will arise and show Himself…Christ, in His death, in His life, in His perfected redemption, the soul may be still, and God will come in, take possession, and do his perfect work.  But God Himself must work it.  And for this end our working must cease.  We must see how entirely it is to be the faith of the operation of God, who raised Jesus from the dead.  — Andrew Murray [How Great is Our God, 6/28]

Treasures of Darkness

Here are the final quotes this week from my journals.  These are great truths to hold onto!

I will go before you [Juli], and level the mountains.  I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  And I will give you treasures hidden in darkness–secret riches.  I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.  — Isaiah 45:2-3

When the heart has learned how entirely powerless it is, even for one moment, to keep itself or bring forth any good, when it has learned how surely and truly God will keep it — when in despair of self it has accepted God’s promise to do for it the impossible — it learns to rest in God.  — Andrew Murray

Since the church is Christ’s body, with which He is organically united, He loves it so much that in its interest He exercises His infinite power in causing the entire universe with all that is in it to co-operate, whether willingly or unwillingly.  — Jerry Bridges